Food manufacturers have done a great job at taking perfectly natural healthy foods and turning them into nutritional nightmares.  Popcorn is a great example. In it’s natural state, popcorn is a simple whole grain.  As I recently posted here, a diet rich in whole grains greatly reduces risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.  So who’s up for popcorn and a movie? Not quite yet, first we need to check out the ingredients 🙂

homemade popcorn

I recently took a trip to the grocery store to compare popular brands of popcorn and their ingredients.  That buttery tasting movie popcorn we all crave should be pretty straight forward: popcorn, butter & salt. But take a look what I found in this bag of Pop-Secret Homestyle: (They all had similar ingredients, I just picked this one randomly to dissect.)

  • Whole Grain Popcorn
  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil: Trans Fat
  • Salt
  • Natural & Artificial Flavor (includes butter (cream, salt)): At least the buttery flavor includes butter but what’s the other stuff? The food industry often hides behind these “mystery” flavors
  • Color Added: Is this nail polish or popcorn? Why do we need color added to our popcorn?
  • Propyl Gallate: This preservative is listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives

Again the food manufacturers are taking something wholesome and nourishing and turning it into a nutritional nightmare.  By adding trans fat, this whole grain now increases our risk of heart disease instead of reducing the risk.  I haven’t even covered the materials/ingredients found in the bags that the popcorn is served in.  Anytime you put glue in the microwave, it’s not good. 
So how do we enjoy a delicious bowl of popcorn with our movie? Simple. You can go old school and pop it right on the stovetop or if you can’t stand the thought of another big pot to wash then microwave your popcorn in a brown paper bag (no glue included).  Here’s how:

Homemade Popcorn – Stovetop or Brown Bag?


  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • butter
  • salt
  • Microwave
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • butter
  • salt


  1. Add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to a large pot with a lid and turn heat to medium.
  2. Once oil is melted and covers the bottom of the pot add the popcorn kernels.
  3. Cover but leave lid ajar so steam can escape. Give it a few good shakes while popping.
  4. Once popping has slowed and you can see most kernels have popped, turn off heat.
  5. Move popcorn to a large bowl.
  6. While pot is still hot add desired amount of butter and melt.Drizzle over popcorn and add a dash of sea salt if desired.
  7. Microwave
  8. Place kernels in brown paper bag and fold over a few times tightly.
  9. Microwave 2-4 minutes listening closely for the popping to slow down.
  10. Place desired amount of butter into glass container and microwave for 30 seconds to one minute. Drizzle over popcorn and add sea salt if desired.


These methods are not only healthier options but also much more inexpensive than buying microwavable popcorn at the grocery store. Popcorn is not only perfect for a movie night but it’s also a great snack for kids. Serve it at home or stick it in their backpack for snack time.


Related Posts You May Also Enjoy: Whole Grains & The Carb Debate, Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers


What are some toppings that you enjoy on your popcorn?

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